Ameh, Attah Igala, dies during operation in Abuja

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Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II, the 27th Attah Igala, died in an Abuja hospital on Thursday morning after undergoing a pile operation, TheCable understands.

The 72-year-old Kogi state paramount ruler was said to have had a stroke which complicated the procedure.

He died in the early hours of Thursday and his body was moved to the National Hospital, also in Abuja, for embalming while traditional rites are observed.

There is yet no official confirmation of the death because, according to sources, Yahaya Bello, the governor of the state, wants to respect tradition.

When Ameh ascended the throne in 2012, he might have thought his reign would be as long as his predecessor. However, that was not the case.

Aliyu Obaje, the 26th attah and Ameh’s predecessor, ruled for 56 years before his demise, having been installed in 1956.

Ameh was chosen unanimously as successor by the four ruling houses in Igalaland to succeed the throne after Obaje’s demise.

The abrupt end of the 27th attah is similar to that of Ameh Oboni I, the 25th ruler of Igalaland. While the 27th attah spent about nine years on the throne, the 25th spent 10 years after he was installed in 1946.

In an interview with PUNCH in 2017, Ameh said he is the only attah in the history of Igala land to have just a wife.

According to him, one wife “is even too many”. “There is no defined role for the wife of the Attah. What she is supposed to do is to take care of the less privileged in the society. She takes care of the orphans and she gives them food,” he said.

“I have chosen to stay with one wife because one wife is even too many. I am the first Attah in history to stay with one wife and I am comfortable with that.”

Born in 1948, Ameh completed his primary school and Saint Boniface in Idah in 1960. He proceeded to Saint Augustine College, Kabba, and graduated in 1961.

In 1968, he joined the Nigerian Air Force and was discharged in 1974 following an application made by him.

After leaving the air force, Ameh worked briefly at the ministry of lands in the then old Kwara state as land inspection officer. He left the ministry in 1975.

He bagged a certificate in estate management from the Kaduna polytechnic in 1980. He got employed at the federal capital development authority (FCDA) in 1981 where he rose to deputy director and retired in 2006.

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